One key feature that differentiates the Schaeffler Group from its competitors is its strong commitment to quality. This entails a high level of responsibility for products that are free of errors and safe.
In order to protect customers from substandard products that may threaten safety and to safeguard Schaeffler’s value creation, the company pursues comprehensive trademark protection.
product liability cases in connection with product safety and product conformity in 2017.
Schaeffler takes great care to ensure that consistently high-quality products are made available to customers. The Schaeffler Group has established the “zero defects principle” at all locations as a measure of product quality. The principle represents an ongoing stabilization of processes and product improvement. The company maintains a comprehensive quality management system to implement its quality policy. The production locations of the Schaeffler Group hold valid certificates based on globally accepted quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015 or IATF 16949. To underscore its high quality standards, the company set group-wide measurable goal to prevent product liability claims that could arise from product safety and product conformity issues, and to further reduce the number of complaint claims in comparison with the previous year. Both goals were achieved in 2017.
Dialog to Assure Quality and Product Safety
With the initiative “Fit for Quality” (FfQ), the Schaeffler Group gives its employees systematic guidance in implementing its commitment to quality. The FfQ Zero Defect Days play a key role in this effort. These event days took place for the second time in the business year 2017. From across the company, 125 projects took part in the initiative. Participating departments and functions prepared numerous workshops with a practical orientation. The Aerospace division, for example, examined the engagement with “flying parts.” The FfQ approach has been effective: Within four years, complaints about quality in the Industrial division and the area of Bearing and Components Technologies decreased by 59%.
Moreover, a Quality Forward Planning (QFP) day was held in November 2017 in the Herzogenaurach headquarters. Here, 280 experts and managers from the company learned about the Schaeffler initiative “Quality for tomorrow” and discussed important quality issues of the future.
The company further supports its employees in improving the safety of products with structured blended learning sessions. Since 2016, more than 1,500 employees have participated in such a session. In addition, the company again supported and organized industry-specific product safety days in 2017 to enable dialog with customers and other stakeholders about safety issues.
Quality must also be protected from external threats. Trade with counterfeited products, for example, not only harms the manufacturer – using these products can also cause material damage to vehicles and industrial equipment or personal injuries. According to a study published by the ICC, the annual economic and social costs resulting from this amount to USD 1.7 billion worldwide.
In order to fight product piracy, the Schaeffler Group has expanded legal prosecution and introduced preventative measures. Counterfeits are systematically removed from the market, authorized retailers receive reinforcement, and customers are supported in purchasing original parts from safe sources. For this purpose, a modular system with measures to protect Schaeffler brands was developed. It ranges from counterfeit-proof labels to information on how to find authorized sales partners to a reporting system. An “Origin Check App” developed by Schaeffler also helps end customers, dealers, and agencies to quickly and simply check INA and FAG products and, if suspicion arises, begin a process of clarification.